What should I do about my vinyl? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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What should I do about my vinyl?

Hi Everybody,
so after my 71 spider was smashed up in a hit and run (see here: https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/aon...t-nh-area.html) I've decided to get the entire thing painted. So, I'm excited for the shiny new car.

There are four tears in the seats and I am looking for advice on what to do (see photos). It feels like a good time to have them fixed, but I am not sure what is the right way to do this and what is a reasonable cost. On the advice of the shop doing the repairs, I went to a seat guy that gave me two options, repair the four tears for about $1500 or get new kits and change out all the vinyl for about $2220. Or get the kits and change out the foam too for additional costs.

I see and advantage in just changing everything out because if I just patch the vinyl, it will likely tear again in the future. But is this is a reasonable cost? On the other hand, maybe I should value having the original vinyl - after all, I've had it for almost 50 years. Or I could just leave everything and save the money.

Any advice is appreciated.

thanks.

Ryan
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1971 Spider Veloce 1750
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 07:11 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
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I suspect if you repair it it'll just tear somewhere else.

Those prices seem nuts, IMO. You can get replacement vinyl covers from Classic Alfa for both seats for $300 shipped. If it's anything like my S4, removing and disassembling the seats is straightforwards, and installing the seat back covers is reasonably easy.

The bottoms and headrests require a bit more skill as there's stitching and hog rings involved, but if you take the parts to an upholstery guy he should be able to do those for a few hours labor. Find the cheap upholstery guy by the tracks, not the guy who does concours restorations for Pebble Beach.

https://classicalfa.com/in083-spider...1970-78-black/
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1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 07:17 PM
Good grief, $1500 to patch old vinyl!!! Run, don't walk from whoever quoted that. Almost as bad as $2200 for new ones...

Classic Alfa sells high quality kits for $150 per seat. An Upholsterer should charge another $150 per seat to install.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gubi View Post
I suspect if you repair it it'll just tear somewhere else.

Those prices seem nuts, IMO. You can get replacement vinyl covers from Classic Alfa for both seats for $300 shipped.

https://classicalfa.com/in083-spider...1970-78-black/
I agree the prices seem high. I have purchased bottom seat foam (took one apart today, it was a rusty mess), bottom seat wire frame (everything was rusted even the springs crumbled), back seat foam (although my upholstery guy said they were not needed) and seat covers for both seats. About $850 plus what I will have to pay to install. Assuming he does not have to modify the pre-sewn covers, I can't imagine getting to the quoted $2200 total you received. The seat covers came from OKP in Germany. I am eager for my installer to tell me what he thinks of them. They look and feel good to me. I also ordered door cards from OKP and the only disappointment so far is there are fewer holes for the metal clips that attach the card to the door than the originals.

Bob

Car History in Purchase Order (Not counting cars for wife, although she drove MG Midget when we got married). I can put it up here because it is so much shorter than most everyone else on this board.
1968 Olds Cutlass-possessed for about a month before aunt wanted it back
1969 Buick Skylark-college car, 350 V8, 2 speed auto- I swear you could see the gas gauge falling at 70 mph
1976 Alfa Spider purchased 1978-What a blast!-sold in 1981
1967 Alfa Spider-basket case but using some parts in my restoration project
1971 Plymouth Fury III-4400 lbs before rust. 383 cu. in. Mother-in-law loved to drive that car (heavy foot). Replaced 76 Alfa
1969 Alfa Spider-running when purchased in 1985. Not running since 1989 but I am working on it
1984 Honda Accord
1995 BMW 325i-first thing I ever bought on eBay
2011 F150-Great for hauling all the sheet metal I purchased to the restoration shop for the 69 Alfa.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gprocket View Post
Good grief, $1500 to patch old vinyl!!! Run, don't walk from whoever quoted that. Almost as bad as $2200 for new ones...

Classic Alfa sells high quality kits for $150 per seat. An Upholsterer should charge another $150 per seat to install.

I paid an upholsterer $400 to cover two seats and the center console. At Classic Alfa upholstery kits are $134 and foam $146 per seat. I am very happy with the way they came out.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 05:36 AM
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The kits that the various suppliers sell are missing a small original detail. The corners of the seat bottoms should have seams as in the picture below. Just a little FYI.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ossodiseppia View Post
The kits that the various suppliers sell are missing a small original detail. The corners of the seat bottoms should have seams as in the picture below. Just a little FYI.
Not that I ever doubt what Brian would say, I don't, but I went out to garage and looked at the old covers before they go to the landfill. They do have the seam he showed in his photo and the replacements I purchased from OKP do not. I should probably start a list of all the things that will not be "as original" as I put my car back together.

Bob

Car History in Purchase Order (Not counting cars for wife, although she drove MG Midget when we got married). I can put it up here because it is so much shorter than most everyone else on this board.
1968 Olds Cutlass-possessed for about a month before aunt wanted it back
1969 Buick Skylark-college car, 350 V8, 2 speed auto- I swear you could see the gas gauge falling at 70 mph
1976 Alfa Spider purchased 1978-What a blast!-sold in 1981
1967 Alfa Spider-basket case but using some parts in my restoration project
1971 Plymouth Fury III-4400 lbs before rust. 383 cu. in. Mother-in-law loved to drive that car (heavy foot). Replaced 76 Alfa
1969 Alfa Spider-running when purchased in 1985. Not running since 1989 but I am working on it
1984 Honda Accord
1995 BMW 325i-first thing I ever bought on eBay
2011 F150-Great for hauling all the sheet metal I purchased to the restoration shop for the 69 Alfa.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:14 PM
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gprocket's estimates are in line with quotes that I recently received from a reputable firm. I previously had a pair done for $200 by a retired upholsterer who worked at home but sadly he is no longer with us.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all this great feeback everyone. Now I just need to find an upholster.

1971 Spider Veloce 1750
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 11:41 AM
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While originality is nice, I think I would rather have the seat covers without the extra seam as I would expect this to be just another failure point over time.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:46 PM
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Shop around, Ryan! Doesn't matter if we're talking tires, upholstery, or any other services. Get several quotes from smaller shops, less overhead. Check also to see if they're BBB members locally.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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thanks again to everyone for the replies on this. Can somebody advise on how easy the seats are to remove? If I want to take them out to bring to an upholster, are they easy enough to take out and put back in? Anything I need to worry about?

1971 Spider Veloce 1750
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 06:15 PM
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Worry about? Well no, nothing that ought to worry you. Just the right size hex socket bit, ratchet with extension and some elbow grease.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 06:19 PM
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It's like four allen bolts, then the seats come out with the rails. Pretty easy.

They can be a little hard to get to but a good selection of allen keys and some ball-end ones will do it. Biggest risk is scratching something up when you take them out of the car.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanSpider View Post
thanks for all this great feeback everyone. Now I just need to find an upholster.
Put an inquiry to the local club members at AONE on the web-site. Someone has had good results and will be able to send you there. Don't rule out furniture re-upholsterers in your area. We have a shop on Cape with artisans who don't speak English and did our wing-back chairs for dirt cheap and fast. The chairs were showroom quality when done. Car seats of this design wouldn't pose any challenge.
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